At its 7:30pm meeting tonight, the Common Council will take public comment and is expected to vote on changes to the Land Use Plan Map that would allow for homes to be built on smaller acreage in what has been identified as the Central Growth Area. For details, click here to review the information for tonight’s meeting (see agenda at the start of the attached document; go to page 36 of 261 for details.)
The Common Council is also expected to have a first reading on the Planning Commission recommendation regarding the proposed 19-lot subdivision on property owned by Tom Weickhardt, who also owns the River Club.
The Planning Commission, which met last night, heard public comment on the project for several hours prior to the formal presentation. While opinions on the project itself were varied, citizens on both sides who spoke were at times emotional, angry and frustrated by a project that has been in discussion and in the courts and city committees for two years.
The Planning Commission split 4-4 on a revised version of the proposal which would limit construction to 13 homes based on the environmentally sensitive nature of the area. While the proposal was structured to accomplish the owner’s goals of being able to the acreage in question for development, an added element was the reinstatement of easements which had expired after 35 years in some of the Ville du Parc neighborhoods. The proposal was intended to provide continuity for all the easements in the subdivision and give up some land on the river to the City. While Weickhardt himself spoke at length and acknowledged the trade off aspect of the proposal, others felt the issues of the easements should be addressed separately from any development proposals. The entire report on the proposal can be viewed here beginning on page 50 of 261.
The Planning Commission is expecting a lively discussion Monday night at 7:00pm at City Hall when River Club owner Tom Weickardt returns to the Planning Commission with a proposal to develop 19 lots on the south side of Freistadt Road on a tract that is adjacent to the Milwaukee River. Weickhardt’s new proposal cedes several portions of his property to the City of Mequon for preservation.
Essentially the same proposal was approved by the Planning Commission in 2012 but subsequently was challenged by Deer Trail Estates neighbors across Freistadt Road who believed their property rights included an easement on the property on which development is now proposed. The new proposal provides the required acreage for the Deer Trail easement, cedes some 20 acres of mostly riverfront property to the City of Mequon and makes an effort to clarify and bring consistency to the multiple easements affecting various neighborhoods in Ville du Parc which were developed at different times in the 1960′s, 1970′s and 1980′s.
The proposal and information to the Planning Commission (click here; report starts on page 22 of 173) also includes commentary from the City staff on another aspect of the proposal, the creation of single-family lots on the north end of Yvonne Drive.
School Board Candidates: March 24
InformMT will host a forum for the three School Board candidates on Monday, March 24 at 7:00pm at the Lecture Hall at Homestead High School. If you have a question to be posed to the candidates, please email it to InformMT@gmail.com.
District 5 Alderman: March 11
Students at Concordia University, which falls within the District 5 boundaries, have organized a candidate forum for Tuesday, March 11 from 4-5p.m. The forum will be moderated by Concordia Student Government president Evan Beuscher. Audience members will be permitted to submit questions for the candidates.
The forum will be held in the Albrecht Lounge in the Student Center. When entering campus, turn left and park in lots near the athletic fields. Click on this map for detailed directions–Albrecht Lounge is in the building marked ‘AL.’ The Lounge is on the ground floor, lower level.
Mequon Mayor Dan Abendroth, Village President Van Mobley and MTSD Superintendent Demond Means shared their thoughts at the Mequon-Thiensville Chamber of Commerce “State of the Community” luncheon on Wednesday, March 5.
Both Abendroth and Mobley were positive about their communities, with Abendroth citing the Festivals Committee achievements and awards related to Mequon’s highly valued open space. He noted recent development activity and Mequon’s strong financial position. While Abendroth acknowledged concerns the City faces regarding paying for road repairs and repayment of the Town Center TIF, he was optimistic about the City’s ability to deal with these challenges.
Mobley was enthusiastic about the success of the Farmer’s Market and development projects in the community. He also cited Thiensville’s debt-free status and cautious approach to decision-making around development in the Village. Mobley also noted recent new hires and characterized Thiensville as having a good working relationship with Mequon and MTSD, a sentiment echoed by Abendroth and Means.
Means acknowledged the accolades received by the District for its status as #1 K-12 district in the state per DPI and recognition from Forbes Magazine as the 3rd best education for home value in the entire US. He also touched on the work being done by the Board of Education to specifically define qualities that should be preserved in the District.
Means was direct, however, in acknowledging the financial challenges being faced by the District. He listed a few of the major cuts made in the last 10 years, cuts he described as “shielding” students from the financial impact of declining enrollment. However, he said that the District is near the point at which it will not be able to provide the same services for students without a plan for sustainability. To that end, he explained the Ad Hoc Committee of citizens formed late last year to address the financial sustainability of the District. The Ad Hoc Committee has met several times since January and will meet again March 11 with a facilitator to begin their work in earnest.
Among questions was one about the Branding Committee, a group put together after the Community Conversation. Initially charged with creating a logo that would encompass both communities and the school district, the Committee has representatives from the municipalities, MTSD and the Chamber of Commerce. Abendroth explained that the focus has shifted from designing a logo to a broader scope that will develop a marketing plan that encompasses all three entities as well as the Chamber.
A project is underway at HHS to provide recognition to the many students who have attained outstanding academic achievements. Similar to the showcase of athletic awards and honors in the HHS Fieldhouse lobby, the Hall of Achievement in the 800-900 Commons will highlight the academic and co-curricular achievements of Homestead students.
$50,000 is needed to make the Hall of Achievement a reality. The Hall of Achievement will honor Homestead’s talented and hard-working students in academics, music, theater, visual arts, journalism and community service as well as in clubs such as Forensics, Latin Club, Robotics, Student Council, National Honor Society and more. For more information about the project and who will be honored, click here. To learn about making a donation, click here.
The proposed 2014-2015 MTSD budget will be reviewed in detail at Monday night’s MTSD Board of Education Meeting. The plan includes some substantial changes, including addition of specialists in math and a director for the AVID program; the proposal also sets aside funding for merit pay for teachers. These additions will be balanced by several staff reductions and changes to the health insurance plan.
The meeting begins at 7:00pm at Range Line School. Public comment will be taken at this meeting; the proposal will be voted on at the March business meeting.
To see the agenda and detailed reports associated with the agenda, click here.
The Common Council heard the first reading of a proposed change in the Land Use Plan for the City of Mequon on Tuesday and is expected to hear a second reading and vote on the proposal in March.
The proposed changes would allow approximately 400 acres in central Mequon to be developed in 1-acre lots.
The approval is the result of months of work and analysis by City staff to define areas in the community suitable for residential development. This land currently falls under the 5-acre minimum which is standard in much of rural Mequon. The area is adjacent to existing public sewer and water utilities, and includes 110 acres owned by the Mequon-Thiensville School District.
On a 5-1 vote, last Monday the Common Council approved the funding required to participate in initial design work for an interchange at I-43 and Highland Road.
As reported on MequonNOW, WisDOT will limit the expense incurred by Mequon to $300,000.
Approval to participate in the design, however, does not commit Mequon to proceed with construction of the interchange. The State will need a final answer by June. City officials are currently trying to identify potential partners to share in the City’s portion of the construction cost, which would be 50% of the total estimated cost of $18.3myln, according to the News Graphic.
There are other considerations associated with the Council’s decision about whether or not to proceed with the interchange. Residents surveyed last year were in favor of the interchange 60% to 40% if there was no cost involved, and split about evenly if there would be a financial commitment involved. The East Growth Market Analysis done for the City in the summer of 2013 presented a variety of scenarios for development in the Port Washington Road corridor near the interchange, and it urged aggressive land use planning and zoning to ensure that if built, an interchange would not adversely affect the character of the community.
For additional information on the Council decision, click here.
It’s not too soon to request your absentee ballot if you plan to be out of town on Election Day, April 1, 2014.
Requesting an absentee ballot or voting early is easy!
Click here to download a form to request an absentee ballot. The application must be mailed to the City Clerk in the municipality where you reside and received by March 27.
Mequon residents mail to:
Lee Szymborski, Clerk
City of Mequon
11333 N. Cedarburg Rd.
Mequon, WI 53092-1930
Thiensville residents mail to:
Dianne S. Robertson, Clerk
Village of Thiensville
250 Elm Street
Thiensville, WI 53092-1602
You are also able to vote early–in person between March 17 and March 28 during normal business hours at the office of your City Clerk.
If you are not registered to vote, click here for more information about registration.